Research Problem: Inner city communities are plagued with the problems of crime, high unemployment, poor health care, inadequate educational opportunities, dilapidated housing, high infant mortality, and extreme poverty. Despite the commitment of resources and various policy initiatives designed to improve the quality of life in inner city communities, these communities have not met with much success in capacity building and community development. The ability of a community to build its capacity largely depends on four factors: 1) the effectiveness of its leadership, 2) the success of the organizations that serve it, 3) the triumphs of community organizing efforts, and 4) the community’s ability to collaborate and establish partnerships with institutions in the larger community. Over the years there have been many research initiatives examining the socio-cultural and socio-economic dynamics of the inner city. However, what is prominently absence from the literature and research efforts in general are examinations of the internal structural dynamics of inner city communities (i.e., leadership, support organizations, community mobilization efforts, etc.). This study examines the attitudes and perceptions of black leaders in an inner-city community. Leaders are crucial to capacity building and development. Leaders in inner-city communities tend to function independent of each other and sometimes the relationship among leaders is adversarial. This project starts under the assumption that community leaders’ attitudes and perceptions are critical for understanding the community’s potential for capacity building and community development. Understanding how community leaders construct their respective political realities is crucial to understanding the challenges and opportunities for capacity building and community development in the inner city. Goal of Project: This project seeks to explore alternative ways of understanding capacity building and community development efforts in an inner–city community. It achieves this by focusing on leaders as central players in shaping and setting the community’s internal and external political agenda. The goal of this study is to determine the extent there is a measure of consensus or division in the attitudes and perceptions of black community leaders regarding the various factors that influence capacity building and community development in the inner city. Furthermore, the aim of this study is to contribute to our understanding of the political dynamics of a black inner city community.Objectives of Project:First, to ascertain what black community leaders from inner city communities perceive as the most important and most urgent problems facing their community. Second, to discover how community leaders rate the job performance of various leadership groups in moving the community toward capacity building and development.Third, to determine the level of confidence that community have in local institutions when it comes to helping inner city communities build capacity.Finally, to assess the prospects for future capacity building and community development based on leaders’ attitudes and beliefs regarding the causes Significance of Project: Much is assumed about the political realities of inner city communities, but not many academic studies have examined the dynamics and nature of political structure within these communities. Consequently, this research project is significant for several reasons. First, community leaders play an important role in carrying the community’s concerns and needs to policymakers. In addition, they play an important role in interpreting the political and policy systems response to community concerns and needs. When there is a lack on congruency among the community leaders’ attitudes and perceptions it becomes difficult for the community to establish a united agenda. Second, the perceptions and level of congruency in community leaders’ attitudes are essential to the development of workable policy options. Third, congruency in leadership’s attitudes and behavior play an important role in the mobilization of the community and external resources and support. That is, community leaders not only play an important role in defining and framing the policy needs of the community, but they also play an important role in rallying the community. Finally, this project will contribute to our understanding of the politics of agenda setting within a black inner-city communityMethodology: This study will solicit the attitudes and perceptions of approximately 40 community leaders. A community leader is defined as an individual who publicly represents (whether formally or informally) a population within the community that actively works to advance and promote their common interests. An interview will be conducted of four categories of community leaders: elected/political leaders, heads of organizations, religious leaders, and civic/grassroots leaders. Elected/political leaders includes anyone currently or previously (within the last 10 years) holding (or have held) a city council, state legislative, county council, school broad, or other political position representing a pre-dominantly black elected district in Wilmington. Religious leaders include anyone who heads a predominantly black religious congregation and also serves as a public advocate for the black community. Community based organization leader includes any person who heads an organization that provides social/social welfare services to the black community or any person that works for an organization (local or national) and their position enables them to play a key role in providing leadership within the black community. Grassroots/Community activist includes any person who operates in a public capacity to advance the interests of the black community; they may or may not hold a position in a formal community organization. The survey that will administered during the interview is intended to gather three types of information: 1) perceptions of the most important problem facing the community, 2) confidence in community institutions and leadership groups, and 3) it assesses the prospects for future capacity building in the inner city.